Thank You, Jon Stewart

After Jon Stewart aired his last episode of The Daily Show after sixteen wonderful years on the air, I felt oddly emotional. I am just a Canadian girl who knows very little about politics, and one who grew up terrified of watching the news, yet his show sparked some interest. I have barely had cable for the past 10 years, but it never stopped me from constantly seeking out ways to watch the show-even if it was just a short segment. Over the years I have come to idolize Stewart in a way. It is so rare to see someone who is willing to call out some of the most powerful forces in society (namely the media and those that the media dwell on) with a level headed approach-and to stick to his convictions all the way.

Never was he intimidated. Never once did he “sell out” or allow himself to be bought. Never once did he allow himself to be silenced or censored.

Jon Stewart is an innovator, a legend, and a force of nature.

To Jon Stewart and The Daily Show,

I want to say a sincere thank you. Thank you for utilizing one of the only mediums in the world that has the ability to shine light on the greatest truths of the world-comedy. Thank you for using your position in front of a camera to stimulate the minds of individuals-an entire generation, in fact-that otherwise may turn a blind eye to the perils and powers of our world. Thank you for being a catalyst, a starting point, and a provocateur of education. Thank you for being fearless in your message, but also fearless in showing who you are as both a comedian and a human.

Thank you for being fearless in your position, and willing to stare your source material in the eye-something many journalists are not willing to do-or are incapable of doing successfully. Thank you for identifying and hosing down sensationalist media so that reality and truth could be seen.

Like these many times that you took on Fox News and Bill O Reilly

Thank you for employing sensationalism when it was necessary, knocking those who deserved to be taken down a peg…

but also for being humble when it was necessary, like when you willingly showcased your vulnerability to the world nine days after 9/11.

Thank you for serving as mentor to many men and women who are now key members of the comedy industry. Without you, we might not have the brilliance of Stephen Colbert and John Oliver. Without The Daily Show, we might not see as much of Rob Riggle, Rob Corddry, Lewis Black or Ed Helms on the silver screen. 

Colbert said it best on Jon’s final show last night

Finally, thank you for cutting through the doom and gloom of the news and presenting it with clarity and honesty-comforting us with your silly-yet-serious delivery. Thank you for taking something as mundane as politics and using both your brains and your comedic skill to make it interesting. No matter their political position, you made people take notice, and you made people want to further explore the events happening in our world instead of pretending that they didn’t exist. You said the things that we were thinking but nobody in the media wanted to say. Veiled in comedy, “real” journalists and news outlets didn’t take you seriously, and that is why you continued to make fools of them for nearly two decades.

Most of all, thank you for being funny. You will be missed.